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chris227
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Re: The Poacher's Son, Early Chapters: 1-7

I also got the feeling that the boy might not be DeSalle's son.  It seems as if this event is foreshadowing something to come.  I can't imagine that this upsetting scene is just an isolated event.  The only other thing I could think of was that it reminded Mike of outings with his father?

 

 


Bonnie_C wrote:

I agree that the scene with DeSalle was unsettling.  But I thought Mike handled himself beautifully.  He intended only to say hello.  DeSalle is the one who started the ugliness.  Mike kept his cool and even tried to reach out to the young boy by giving him his dropped fishing rods and telling him he hopes he catches a big one.  I was impressed that a 24 year old had that level of maturity to stay calm.

 

For some reason, I really wondered if the boy was actually DeSalle's son.  Maybe he's a stepson that DeSalle felt was forced on him.  Maybe that's why he only has the one life vest. I also get the feeling that the kid's day was not going to be a happy one whether he spent the day with DeSalle in his new boat or riding back home in DeSalle's new truck after being fined by a game warden.  I can only hope he took comfort in the fact that not all adults act like DeSalle.

 

I think we may see more of these characters later on.  But that is just a guess on my part.


 

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chris227
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On another note

Chapter 3 opened with crows and their "harsh, quarreling voices" and all I could think was Maery would be so mad with the negative reference!

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JuneC
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Re: The Poacher's Son, Early Chapters: 1-7

Although he seems to know what he would like to do with his career Mike is floundering in other aspects of his life.  He doesn't appear to be very mature in his relationship with Sarah, his father, or his mother.  Then again, unless I'm mistaken, he is only 24. 

 

Jack seems like the classic example of a Viet Nam Vet suffering from PTSD.  He is a wounded soul and has    found little peace. Although he loved his wife he was unable to get past his issues to give of himself to her, or his son.   Apparently though he has a magnetisms that draws women. Interesting. What is that piece?

 

 

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SarahQFaye
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Re: The Poacher's Son, Early Chapters: 1-7

What is Mike Bowditch like?  What about his father?

Mike seems like a standard kind of guy who likes his job.  I don't get the feeling that he loves his job however.  I mean, he's not a guru or anything about the outdoors.  I think he probably settled for this job because it seemed to fit the skills he already had.  His father deffinately comes off as the outdoors man who was never very good at being a father or maintaining a home life.  He is rough, but not ignorant of the world.

 

What are the romantic relationships like that have been described this far into the novel? What was Mike's relationship with Sarah like?

We saw the relationship that Mike's father and mother had.  The relationship between Mike and Sarah just seems tired.  He was unwilling to change and she was unwilling to settle. 

 

How do Mike's attitudes so far seem similar to and different from the people around him?

He seems a little more worldly then some of the townspeople.  He is able to step outside of the small town influence.  But even he admitts that he is starting to get a routine, which is what they like.

 

What are your early expectations for the story? What has shaped your sense of what to expect?

I'm not really sure what to expect.  I know a lot of the previous posts have expressed that they are excited for the rest of the book, but I'm having a tough time getting in to it.  I kept waiting for something to really hook me in but I haven't found that yet.  I'm hoping the rest of the novel picks up. 

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PinkBaby
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Re: The Poacher's Son, Early Chapters: 1-7

he is lonely  especially after his break up with sarah. as for his father he is a reallllllllllllllllllllllllllll dumbass. or to put it better a real jerk.:smileymad:i also think mike really enjoys his job as game warden. i think he would much rather deal with animals than people. i think its going to be a very good book.:smileywink:

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becke_davis
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Re: The Poacher's Son, Early Chapters: 1-7

I'm up to chapter 14, trying to hold back on finishing it just yet.

 

I'm wondering if the jerk with the boat is going to have anything to do with a) the Unabomber-type character in the bar, or b) if the little boy will play a part later in the story.

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trschi
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Re: The Poacher's Son, Early Chapters: 1-7

I think that Mike is confused.  He is young and trying to figure out who he is and what his place is in the world.  He is confused about whether he wants a relationship (Sarah vs empty house), how to have a relationship with his father, whether to conform to people's expectations of who he should be, and how he fits into his community (authority figure vs outsider).  

 

I am liking Jack's character, and I feel he is a lot more complex than what we have seen so far.  I see some similarities between him and the father in Richard Russo's Empire Falls - they are both law-breaking, disheveled, alcoholic social outcasts, though still manage to attract the attention women.  Interesting that Sarah compared Jack to Paul Newman, as Newman played the father in HBO's adaptation of Empire Falls!  Not to mention that both stories take place in Maine.

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trschi
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Re: The Poacher's Son, Early Chapters: 1-7

 

I very much agree that I don't see Mike as lonely, as I think he is happier by himself (at least, until he figures some things out for himself).
Also agree that never intended to go to law school and that he was stringing Sarah and his mother along as that was the easier way out.

LadyMin wrote:

I don't really see Mike as lonely. He is alone, yes, but he has conscioulsy chosen to be a warden knowing full well the type of life he would lead. Some people are happier by themselves rather than trying to interact with others.

Mike was relieved when Sarah left him. I don't think he ever intended to go to law school. It was easier to say he would than to explain why it was wrong for him. Until he is honest with people in his relationships he will continue to fail. She was the wrong woman for him but he wouldn't make that decision, he let her do it.

It was difficult for me, too, to put down this book after seven chapters. The writing style is wonderful and I am having no trouble visualizing scenes and characters.


 

 

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reader76
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Re: The Poacher's Son, Early Chapters: 1-7

What is Mike Bowditch like? What about his father?  

What are the romantic relationships like that have been described this far into the novel? What was Mike's relationship with Sarah like?

 

I think Mike Bowditch is a solitary man who loves his job and like to lose himself in the wild wilderness of Maine.  He prefers to be lone figure doing his job as a game warden.  His father has lost himself because of effects of war.   He is a drunk, not a law biding citizen.  I think both Mike and his father does not know how to relate to other human beings on emotional level.  Mike with Sarah letting her go because it was easier than be what she wanted him to be.  His father not being able to relate to his wife and letting her go through divorce and also severing his ties wth his son because it was easier to let it be. 

 

 

How do Mike's attitudes so far seem similar to and different from the people around him?

 

I think Mike feels out other character's attitudes and goes with the flow and tests boundaries when he thinks he is able to like feeling out that cop to get information about his father on the run as a fugitive. 

 

What are your early expectations for the story? What has shaped your sense of what to expect?

I am waiting to find out the story behind the shooting and the reason for Mike's dad fugitive status. 

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BookAholicInVT
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Re: The Poacher's Son, Early Chapters: 1-7

What is Mike Bowditch like? What about his father?

Mike is a man who was to taught to love the outdoors by his father. He also learned to love and respect the law by watching his father break the law. His father is a man deeply troubled by his past who spends his time drinking, hunting (both legally and illegally) and with numerous women. Mike was influenced by his father's actions (and inactions) into becoming a man who wants to do the right thing.

 

What are the romantic relationships like that have been described this far into the novel? What was Mike's relationship with Sarah like?

The only relationships described so far are Mike's parents and Mike's relationship with Sarah. Mike's parents had a volatile relationship for the nine years that they were together. There were many arguments and Mike's mother eventually left his dad because she could not live with him anymore. She did remarry, but not much has been said about Mike's stepdad so far. Mike is counting the days since Sarah left, almost as if he can't believe that she has stayed away so long. But, in the next sentence, he is glad that Sarah left because he feels that he could never make her happy. The relationship between Mike's parents has influenced the way he interacts with Sarah.

 

How do Mike's attitudes so far seem similar to and different from the people around him?

In a way, Mike is very similar to the people in the town around him. He has a respect for the land and a love of hunting like most of the people in his town. What sets him apart is his aloofness, especially when it comes to his father. When he tells his supervisor about the phone call from his dad, she expected Mike to have immediately called his father back. She seemed surprised that Mike had not called him. She almost has to give him an order to call his father.

 

What are your early expectations for the story? What has shaped your sense of what to expect?

I wonder how the story of the POW camp and the escaped prisoner will tie in to the rest of the story. Mike appears to be the only person in the state who believes that his father is innocent. I wonder if Mike will be right or if he will be disappointed in his father. Also, because he believes in his father's innocence, will this belief affect his job as a Warden.

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rbhoover
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Re: The Poacher's Son, Early Chapters: 1-7

I am loving this book! Mike is a loner like his father, alienating himself from others.  His romantic relationships have not been good for several reasons. Mike has immersed himself in his work as a game warden, foregoing law school as Sarah would have liked, but is following his dream. Mike loves Sarah, but is unwilling to sacrifice his dreams for her happiness. I can't wait to see how the bear fits into this story!

 

This is a story that has drawn me into it and I can't wait to see how it all ends up! A very good debut novel.

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CathyB
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Re: The Poacher's Son, Early Chapters: 1-7

 

What is Mike Bowditch like? What about his father?

 

I like him. He's a bit hard on himself and is good at his job. It's a

bit sad that he is alone though. He's the outdoors type.

 

HIs Dad 'wlaks on the wild side'. Drinking, women. I don't like him.

 

What are the romantic relationships like that have been described this far into the novel? What was Mike's relationship with Sarah like?

 

The obvious relationship between Mike's parents and it was a disaster. Mike and Sarah is the second

relationship ... they just had different 'expectations' of life and what is needed.

 

How do Mike's attitudes so far seem similar to and different from the people around him?

 

I think the big difference in his attitude is that he is willing to give someone the benefit of the

doubt ... he is open minded.

 

What are your early expectations for the story? What has shaped your sense of what to expect?

 

My obvious expectation is to ultimately be told who the murderer is and why ... I always have my theories

and would like to know how close (including if I was right) ... the fun part of a mystery for me.

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dhaupt
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Re: The Poacher's Son, Early Chapters: 1-7

 


becke_davis wrote:

I'm up to chapter 14, trying to hold back on finishing it just yet.

 

I'm wondering if the jerk with the boat is going to have anything to do with a) the Unabomber-type character in the bar, or b) if the little boy will play a part later in the story.


 

 

I was wondering the same thing Becke.

I stopped at chapter 7, like a good girl.

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becke_davis
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Re: The Poacher's Son, Early Chapters: 1-7

Debbie - you didn't seriously think I'd stop at chapter 7, did you??

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Sherry_Young
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Re: The Poacher's Son, Early Chapters: 1-7

What is Mike Bowditch like? What about his father?

Mike is a more complex character than he first appears. His adult self seems to struggle with the emotions of having grown up with a father who had many demons. His father was a boy with a promising future as he began his journey into adulthood, but fighting in Vietnam stood in the way of possible success. We don't know what he experienced, but war is hell and no one returns from seeing such horrors without change. Would he have been a motivated man who could hold down a steady job? He returns from war emotionally scarred and people who knew him noticed the change. He drinks and seems to rebel at inopportune times - almost intentionally destroying his own life.

 

In the same way we find that Mike has emotional scars from both parents. He finds love, but seems to follow in his father's steps of destroying that relationship through his indifference. We then see Mike progress, again in a similar manner to his father, by starting to destroy his career. The phone call from his father and news of the murders triggers the first step - the encounter with the father/son at the boat ramp. Mike observes an angry father with the quiet and possibly fearful son. I believe that he needs to feel in control of some situation and directs his anger back towards the father by provoking him further with the life jackets.

 

What are the romantic relationships like that have been described this far into the novel? What was Mike's relationship with Sarah like?

The question asks about romantic relationship, but there seems to very little romance. Obviously he and Sarah ended the relationship before the story begins. As he recalls scenes from their past, he thinks of her fondly, but I don't see true signs of love. Is he afraid of love because his parents had such a turbulent relationship that didn't last or is this another way he is trying to be like his father - that Sarah was just going to be a woman to fulfill certain needs? I ask this last bit because Mike seems very surprised by the question his father posed to him at the bar: "Would you die for her?" This foreboding conversation tells us that Mike did not understand his father's relationships, but more importantly shows us that Mike is unsure of love and doesn't truly love Sarah. Was it this conversation with Jack that made Mike question his relationship enough to decide to sabotage it?

 

How do Mike's attitudes so far seem similar to and different from the people around him?

Mike desperately wants to show others that he is not his father. He also chooses to defy his mother's (and Sarah's) wish for him to become a lawyer by choosing to become a game warden. This defiance makes his attitude similar to his father, but the path of the game warden also seems to rebel against his father or a way to make amends for his father. Mike seems to be losing faith in the people around him, which is another attitude in common with his father.

 

What are your early expectations for the story? What has shaped your sense of what to expect?

 At this point in the story I found that I struggled to connect. Mike seems dismayed with the hand life has dealt. Obviously the strange phone message followed by the news of the murders piques the interest, but I felt confused by a couple of things: 1. What was the point of the story at the beginning about the German POW who escaped and 2. What does the bear have to do with the story (other than the fact that he is a game warden)?

Let children read whatever they want and then talk about it with them. If parents and kids can talk together, we won't have as much censorship because we won't have as much fear.
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Zia01
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Re: The Poacher's Son, Early Chapters: 1-7

 

There was such an emphasis on this scene, I was left wondering if DeSalle will play a futher role later on or if the author just wanted us to see Mike doing his job.

chris227 wrote:
I also got the feeling that the boy might not be DeSalle's son.  It seems as if this event is foreshadowing something to come.  I can't imagine that this upsetting scene is just an isolated event.  The only other thing I could think of was that it reminded Mike of outings with his father?

 

 


Bonnie_C wrote:

I agree that the scene with DeSalle was unsettling.  But I thought Mike handled himself beautifully.  He intended only to say hello.  DeSalle is the one who started the ugliness.  Mike kept his cool and even tried to reach out to the young boy by giving him his dropped fishing rods and telling him he hopes he catches a big one.  I was impressed that a 24 year old had that level of maturity to stay calm.

 

For some reason, I really wondered if the boy was actually DeSalle's son.  Maybe he's a stepson that DeSalle felt was forced on him.  Maybe that's why he only has the one life vest. I also get the feeling that the kid's day was not going to be a happy one whether he spent the day with DeSalle in his new boat or riding back home in DeSalle's new truck after being fined by a game warden.  I can only hope he took comfort in the fact that not all adults act like DeSalle.

 

I think we may see more of these characters later on.  But that is just a guess on my part.


 


 

 

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Mainelady
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Re: The Poacher's Son, Early Chapters: 1-7

I'm trying not to go past Chapter 7, but I suspect I'll go right on through.  Only took time out to check the schedule here.

 

Mike Bowditch is a fascinating character, and I already find myself hoping this will be the beginning of the series.  I suspect he's the 'still water runs deep' type of personality who holds himself in check, but I look for some breaking the chains behavior to follow.  He's very conflicted, as others have noted, but truly wants to be a person who does the right thing.

 

Mike's father is almost stereotypical.  I know at least 4 people who I could plug right into this personna. The fact that he does want to maintain a relationship with his son, albeit if only when he needs help with some mess he's gotten into, gives him a humanity that makes me root for him.

 

I live in midcoast Maine and am learning a lot about the warden's service I didn't know. The descriptions of the land and the people are spot-on.

 

As for the romance in his life, I don't have a good feel for that yet.  Certainly, I think he had deep feelings for Sarah, but I wonder if that was simply included to humanize the character and show that he is capable of forming relationships with women.  There just isn't one right now.

 

I like the different pieces of the story that don't seem related right now (the idiot boat driver from Massachussetts, the rogue bear, and the German POW).  It will be interesting to see if the author ties these all together by the end of the story.

 

 

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Sherry_Young
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Re: The Poacher's Son, Early Chapters: 1-7

 


SarahQFaye wrote:

What is Mike Bowditch like?  What about his father?

Mike seems like a standard kind of guy who likes his job.  I don't get the feeling that he loves his job however.  I mean, he's not a guru or anything about the outdoors.  I think he probably settled for this job because it seemed to fit the skills he already had.  His father deffinately comes off as the outdoors man who was never very good at being a father or maintaining a home life.  He is rough, but not ignorant of the world.

 

What are the romantic relationships like that have been described this far into the novel? What was Mike's relationship with Sarah like?

We saw the relationship that Mike's father and mother had.  The relationship between Mike and Sarah just seems tired.  He was unwilling to change and she was unwilling to settle. 

 

How do Mike's attitudes so far seem similar to and different from the people around him?

He seems a little more worldly then some of the townspeople.  He is able to step outside of the small town influence.  But even he admitts that he is starting to get a routine, which is what they like.

 

What are your early expectations for the story? What has shaped your sense of what to expect?

I'm not really sure what to expect.  I know a lot of the previous posts have expressed that they are excited for the rest of the book, but I'm having a tough time getting in to it.  I kept waiting for something to really hook me in but I haven't found that yet.  I'm hoping the rest of the novel picks up. 


I completely agree with you on the feeling that Mike doesn't really enjoy his job. I felt the same way. Is there anything to his life that he does enjoy?

 

I also didn't connect with the book and had trouble reading and getting into it. I don't know if you have only read through chapter 7 or beyond. I did find a hook later on (yes, I'm finished reading it) that helped the story become more interesting to me.

 

 

Let children read whatever they want and then talk about it with them. If parents and kids can talk together, we won't have as much censorship because we won't have as much fear.
— Judy Blume
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Peppermill
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Re: The Poacher's Son, Early Chapters: 1-7

[ Edited ]

Although this book was billed as a mystery, I'm finding it to be more of a coming of age story.

 

Very interesting point, with which I tend to agree so far, although I am not enough of a mystery story reader to be able to define or necessarily recognize the genre.  But TPS so far does seem to be a coming of age story. I suspect TPS is being positioned as a mystery at least partly for marketing purposes; I suspect that the mystery market is the larger one.

 

Your next post, NFAM, about the role of the bear subplot being more germaine to a COA story than a mystery, was insightful to me.

 

P.S.  In the next post after yours, NFAM, Library Susies does say: "The whole mystery is his father a killer?"


nfam wrote:

Although this book was billed as a mystery, I'm finding it to be more of a coming of age story. Mike is a young man very conflicted about his father. He has taken up a profession that puts him directly at odds with the man he thinks he wants to understand. When his father is on the run, Mike wants to help him, but I think he most wants to understand his father. 

 

In fact, Mike's conflict with his father and his own self image has put his relationship with Sara in jeopardy. I believe from the story that he truly loves Sara, but he feels that he is forced into a life in the Maine Warden Service and Sara doesn't fit this life style well. So, from my perspective, at the start of the story, Mike is very conflicted. He wants to be alone, but he wants Sara. He wants to help and understand his father, but he's on the opposite side of the law. 

 

It will be interesting to see how/if Mike is able to resolve his conflicts and discover who he is.


"Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here." -- Leo Tolstoy
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aprilh
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Re: The Poacher's Son, Early Chapters: 1-7

Mike is a loner who prefers to be out in the woods than to be with people. His relationship with Sarah is an example of this. I think he truly loved her, but when it really came down to it, he preferred the company of the woods then being with her. I think he has good intentions towards people, but has difficulty connecting with them. As for Jack, he seems to be a tough cookie. He wasn't around for much of his son's life, in fact the two of them haven't spoken for two years, but I really think he would do anything for his son. The night Mike and Sarah visited Jack at the bar is an example of this. Even though it was Jack's idea for Mike to confront the guys speaking with Sarah, when Mike was attacked, Jack jumped right into the mix threatening them with a knife and winding up in jail.

 

So far, there isn't any romantic relationships in the book that have lasted. Mike's parents divorced when he was young and then Mike and Sarah broke up. He does love Sarah judging from the fact that he counts all the days she's been gone, but I'm not sure if they can work out their differences to get back together.

 

I'm hoping by the end of the book that Mike will be able to repair his relationships with his father and with Sarah.

April